J Jacques, B Burlat, P Arnoux, M Sabaty, B Guigliarelli, C Léger, D Pignol, V Fourmond
Periplasmic nitrate reductase catalyzes the reduction of nitrate into nitrite using a mono- nuclear molybdenum cofactor that has nearly the same structure in all enzymes of the DMSO reductase family. In previous electrochemical investigations, we found that the enzyme exists in several inactive states, some of which may have been previously iso- lated and mistaken for catalytic intermediates. In particular, the enzyme slowly and reversibly inactivates when exposed to high concentrations of nitrate. Here, we study the kinetics of substrate inhibition and their dependence on electrode potential and sub- strate concentration to learn about the properties of the active and inactive forms of the enzyme. We conclude that the substrate-inhibited enzyme never significantly accu- mulates in the EPR-active Mo(+V) state. This conclusion is relevant to spectroscopic investigations where attempts are made to trap a Mo(+V) catalytic intermediate using high concentrations of nitrate.